MS-DOS Prompt is temperamental

When I try to bring up the MS-DOS prompt it sometimes works and sometimes doesn't.  When it doesn't, an error message appears (can't reproduce it exactly now because of course the thing is working perfectly!) but something to the effect "This program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down..."  When I go to details it says something about an error in SYMEVENT or something.  There doesn't seem to be any pattern to whether it works or not.  Even if I restart the computer, that is not necessarily a guarantee that it will work straight off the bat.  
When I choose Start - Run - Command, this works fine.  The computer also restarts in DOS mode with no problem.  
In the shortcut to the MS-DOS prompt, the option in programs is Suggest MS-DOS mode as necessary.

Any help appreciated.

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dew_associatesConnect With a Mentor Commented:
chingwa, try this and let me know.1.

Use Registry Editor to delete the following registry key, if it exists:
2. Click Start, click Run, type "sysedit" (without the quotation marks), and
   then click OK.
3. On the Window menu, click System.ini.
4. On the Search menu, click Find.
5. In the Find box, type "symevnt.386" (without the quotation marks), and then
   press ENTER.
6. Place a semicolon (;) at the beginning of the line that contains
7. On the File menu, click Save, and then click Exit on the File menu.
8. Restart your computer.

This seems to be an Norton Anti-Virus related error.
"Symevent" is meant to be any event in a symantec app.

Maybe you should deactivate any Norton app if active and try again.

A few months ago I found something in MS's KnowledgeBase about a workaround (registry changes) but couldn't find it this time...

Best regards
mitrakis is on the right track.  suprised you don't get this message when you boot up.  I'd bet there is a reference to symevent in your system.ini file.  you may want to remark out that line and try rebooting - this may have a detrimental effect on your Norton application though.
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I don't have Norton AntiVirus but sometimes I get the message regarding SYMEVENT too... never installed it on my computer.

A reinstall of Win98 solved the problem but I still don't know what caused it in the 1st place.
chingwaAuthor Commented:
I have tried the comment from dew associates and have the following comments:
1. MS-DOS window appears to be working OK now, but will let you know in a couple of days as the problem was intermittent.
2. There was no line in my system.ini file regarding symevnt.386 so could not add the semi-colon.
3. Now when I start the computer I get a message saying "NAV Auto-Protect unable to start symevnt.386 not loaded."
4. How do I get NAV to work properly now?  I am running Windows 98 but have a very old copy of NAV (V2.0 for Windows 95 on floppy disks).

If these comments are addressed and MS-DOS is working OK in a couple more days I will accept dew's comment as answer.
You're going to have to upgrade that version of NAV. The fix I gave you is because the files you have, specifically symevent, are outdated.

You will find an update download at this URL.

This is the file info:

You can use:  

1018x86.exe October 18 October 25 4.62 MB

This all inclusive updater will update all of the products listed above. This is useful for updating multiple machines and products with one single package.  

You'll have to copy and paste the url as this page isn't working correctly and the URL won't load properly.
Chingwa, how is your system?
chingwaAuthor Commented:
Thankyou very much.  This answer was clear and concise and completely solved the problem.  You don't know how great it is not to be getting errors all the itme.
I'm glad I was able to help you fix it!
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